Ancient Anasazi Pueblo Canyon Dechelly
Bob and Nadine Johnston
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Anasazi Pueblo Ruins in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Kiet Siel (Keet Seel), which stands for "broken house" in Navajo, is a well preserved cliff dwelling of the ancient Anasazi people located in a branch of the Tsegi Canyon in the Kayenta region of Northeastern Arizona. The site was first occupied at around AD 1250, during a time in which a large number of people were believed to be aggregating in sites such as this in this part of the American Southwest. There was a construction boom at Kiet Siel between AD 1272 and 1275, with construction then slowly tapering off and halting completely at AD 1286. Once construction halted in AD 1286, there was no evidence of structures being built until its subsequent abandonment some 20 years later. At its peak, its believed that up to 150 people inhabited this site at one time. Kiet Siel, along with Betatakin and Tsʼah Biiʼ Kin (Inscription House), are the three cliff dwelling sites that make up the now protected Navajo National Monument. These three sites were declared a national monument in 1909. Due to the extremely dry climate and natural overhanging cliff, the conditions at Kiet Siel were quite optimal for excellent preservation of the site's dwellings and artifacts. Kiet Siel is considered by many archaeological experts to be one of the best preserved larger ruins in the American Southwest.
October 20th, 2012
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